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The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) says slashing the wages of Premier League players isn't the right course of action at this time to help alleviate the financial pressures of the coronavirus pandemic.
The pushback comes after the Premier League proposed a 30% pay cut for England's top-tier footballers on Friday.
The union representing the players scoffed at that in a strongly worded statement on Saturday, suggesting that cutting salaries would do more harm than good in these "unprecedented times."
"... The combined tax on their salaries is a significant contribution to funding essential public services - which are especially critical at this time," the PFA said. "Taking a 30% salary deduction will cost the Exchequer substantial sums. This would be detrimental to our (National Health Service) and other government-funded services."
"The proposed 30% salary deduction over a 12-month period equates to over £500 million in wage reductions and a loss in tax contributions of over £200 million to the government," the statement continued. "What effect does this loss of earning to the government mean for the NHS?"
The PFA also took aim at Matt Hancock, Britain's health secretary, who earlier this week urged Premier League stars to "play their part" in the battle against COVID-19.
"... Did (he) factor this in when asking players to take a salary cut?" the PFA said of the tax implications.
Talks between the league and players' union are expected to continue into next week.
Numerous players have made donations during the COVID-19 crisis, but Premier League clubs are coming under increased scrutiny while continuing to furlough non-playing staff.
Liverpool became the latest club to make such a move on Saturday, placing employees on temporary leave and using the government's assistance program to ensure they receive their full salaries. Businesses can claim 80% of their employees' wages to a maximum of £2,500 per person.